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September 21, 2014

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More funding approved for mob museum

Anthony lone vote against the $50 million project

Image

Steve Marcus

Pedestrians pass by the old courthouse and U.S. post office, the site of the Mob Museum, in downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009.

Mob Museum

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, left, and former Sen. Richard Bryan (D-Nev.) prepare to open the doors to the Mob Museum during a news conference at the museum site in downtown Las Vegas this morning. Launch slideshow »

The Las Vegas City Council quietly approved spending nearly $2 million more today for the mob museum project, which is on track to open in 2011 in the city's downtown.

But City Councilman Stavros Anthony made it clear he still doesn't like the project, which will be officially known as the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement.

Anthony didn't speak out today about the project, which is estimated to cost about $50 million. But his actions were fairly loud and consistent with his past votes.

He asked to have the item pulled from the council's routine consent agenda so it could be voted on separately. Then he was the lone vote against the extra funding among the seven council members.

Anthony had also voted against additional funding for the retrofit project back in November. At that time, he had explained he could not justify spending money on such a museum.

The extra money approved today, amounting to $1,958,908, is needed to take care of some structural retrofit work on the historic 1933 federal office building and post office building at 300 Stewart, which will house the museum.

The work includes modifying the beams on the second and third floors, removing more hazardous material from the building, doing more work on the exterior plaster and courtroom ceilings and installing a new remote fire pump assembly that's needed because of failing water pressure in the downtown area, according to the city's finance and business services department.

The museum, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2011, would tell the tale of how federal and local law enforcement officers fought the mob and eventually drove it out of Las Vegas' casinos.

The exhibits would features items from the FBI, plus artifacts from mob life, including many donated from the children and grandchildren of top members of organized crime and their underlings.

The museum has been pushed by the city's mayor, former high-profile mob lawyer Oscar Goodman, and by the FBI.

Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow, who made the motion to approve the extra funding today, has said in the past he supports it as an additional tourist attraction for the downtown.

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